Wednesday, October 15, 2008

My Grand Canyon XP Ride - Karen Chaton - Full Story, pictures, and results

While the first day went fairly well, I think that it was the second day that I rode (which was day 4 of the ride) things really came together for me and Chief. The night before the wind blew hard - so hard that the porta-potties in camp both blew over, and everybody reported not being able to sleep due to the wind. I slept so well and hard, that I didn’t even know that it was windy!

The morning started at 6 a.m. when Laney came over to make sure I was awake. The day before I had intended to ride but overslept (I really needed to, so it turned out okay). We both looked up at the sky and the black, dark clouds looming above us, and felt the cold, crisp breeze and wondered what the day was going to do. It would have been so easy to crawl back into the warm bed. I was determined though, as I really wanted to try to ride again. This is where I really used my mental toughness, or shear determination - to get myself moving. Because I didn’t do it based on my physical strength, I can tell you that!

The start went well, I headed out on Chief and he was quite excited for just the first 1/2 mile or so. After that I got him on his own, and fortunately we headed up a hill and had some steep climbing to do. That really helped, so did getting out into our own ’space’ between other horses. I ended up somewhere in the middle of the pack of horses...

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